Dempo hold EB goalless; Viva Kerala down AI


Both the teams played at a lively pace as the ball moved to and fro, but were unable to break the deadlock.

Dempo, who had a better share of exchanges, did not use the flanks well as they built their moves from the middle which helped the rival to close the gaps.

Defenders Mahesh Gawli and Sameer Naik made timely tackles to stall any attempts from East Bengal forwards Baichung Bhutia and Yakubu.

East Bengal, however, played a waiting game and relied more on counter attacks. The visitors were presented with their first chance in the ninth minute, but Bhutia’s header off a Nirmal Chetri lob missed the target narrowly.

Few minutes later, Yakubu forced Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani to make a diving save.

Dempo created a couple of scoring opportunities but squandered all of them.
Dempo continued to enjoy ball possession during the second half, and nearly scored through man-of-the-match Peter Carvalho but his whose rasping shot from 30 yards was punched over by East Bengal custodian Mondal.

Both the teams pressed hard in the last quarter of the match and East Bengal nearly scored through Abel Hammond, but were unlucky.

With this draw, Dempo continued to stay at the top of the table with 23 points from 12 matches and are three points clear of second-placed Mohun Bagan, who lost to Salgaocar yesterday.

Meanwhile, Viva Kerala defeated Air India 2-1 with goals from VK Shibinlal (22nd) and MP Sakeer (87th). ND Opara (59th) scored the lone goal for the Airmen. 

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